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4 Mistakes to Avoid if You Live in Philadelphia and Have Medical Debts

As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on plenty of Americans find themselves with debts they can’t pay. Average treatment costs are between $1000 and $2000, more than enough to send most families into a financial tailspin. Some have gone higher, with news sources reporting numbers like $34,000 or $1.1 million.

Given many people are furloughed, out of work entirely, or are looking at pay cuts to stay employed, these bills come at a bad time. 


While it’s getting rarer, some medical establishments are willing to help people with their bills. Many administrative offices will work out payment plans. Some have charity programs you can apply for. 

If medical bills are your only financial problem you might be able to work out something reasonable.

It doesn’t hurt to call the office and ask. If they turn aggressive or won’t work with you then you’ll know you have to consider other options.

Ignoring Them

Medical debt collectors are getting very aggressive. They are filing lawsuits which give them the power to garnish wages, seize funds in bank accounts, or put liens on houses. If you ignore them, you could end up with a lawsuit…or two.

“Back in 2017, Heather Waldron underwent emergency intestinal surgery at a University of Virginia Health System hospital, a procedure that kept her in the Charlottesville facility for two months. Roughly two years later, she lost her home after the nonprofit hospital system sued her to collect on the $164,000 bill.” CBS News

Paying Medical Debts With Your Credit Card

Medical debts are interest-free. If you put them on your credit card you create an interest-bearing debt that grows even larger.

Moving debt around (“robbing Peter to pay Paul,”) is rarely helpful anyway. 

Avoiding Bankruptcy

At a certain point, it’s important to evaluate your overall debt load. Ask yourself, realistically, if you are going to be able to pay any of these debts off in a reasonable time frame.

Ask yourself if you’ve already become the target of a lawsuit. 

The automatic stay can put an end to collection calls, law suits, and stress. If you’ve got an unwieldy medical debt…or a whole pile of them…it may be the smartest decision you make. There’s no value to waiting too long, either. 

Not sure yet? Take advantage of one of our free consultations. We’ll evaluate your situation and answer your questions, and figure out together if bankruptcy is the right solution to your medical debt problem.

See also:

Are You Waiting Too Long to File Your Philadelphia Bankruptcy? 

Is it a Good Idea for Bucks County Residents to Settle Debts?

Bankruptcy Law


Have You:

Been paying credit card balances that seem to never go down?

Lost your job and are now having trouble keeping up?

Attempted to work out a payment arrangement to no avail?

Been notified of a mortgage foreclosure action?

Been denied for a mortgage or other line of credit?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” then bankruptcy may be an option that you should consider.

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